Lay the Groundwork for A Lifetime of Reading


At school, reading is the essential tool for success in every subject, so it is vital that you lay the proper groundwork for your child. In every area, actually, there are just a million benefits to those who read – and most importantly – develop a joy for reading every day.

According to Bernabe Feria, an expert in reading sciences who holds a doctorate from Oxford University, children learn to read in three stages. They are as follows:

* Stage 1: This stage typically lasts until children are 5 or 6 years old. Children in this stage learn to recognize and write the letters of the alphabet and to use punctuation, and also begin “sounding out” clusters of written letters that form short words.

* Stage 2: This stage continues until children reach age 6 or 7. They learn to immediately recognize a few hundred words on sight and to read in phrases and even whole sentences.

* Stage 3: Children reach this stage around age 8 and typically no later than 10. At this stage they learn how to read with the facility and fluency with which they use spoken language, and should be able to recognize, appreciate and emulate finely crafted language.

As a parent or caregiver, you can help your children learn the value of reading at any stage through modeling and support. Children who love reading are raised by adults who share the joy of reading, who have read out loud to their children daily and since very young. Also, many adults stop reading to their children when they learn how to read when doing so, would actually add more benefits to the child.

My favorite strategies, consists of reading a chapter, or a book to the child out loud and then ask them to retell to story with their own words. I use this with the little ones who can’t read yet, but it will work just as well with the children who can. What’s more, you can get into discussion about the book, ask them to come with an alternative ending, or make some silly changes to the story. Reading, is traveling to new world and new places, so be creative and read on!